Trinity advises lenders on 80MW peat-fired power plant in Rwanda

Trinity has advised a group of senior, and under a separate instruction mezzanine, lenders in relation to the US$350 million financing of an 80 megawatt (MW) peat to power project in Rwanda.  The power plant, once built, will significantly increase Rwanda’s on-grid electricity.

The group of lenders includes Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), which arranged senior debt of US$225 million and Finnfund, the Finnish development agency, who arranged the mezzanine debt tranche. Other lenders include the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank), the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) and the Export-Import Bank of India. The sponsors, advised by Clifford Chance LLP, are Hakan Mining and Electricity Generation Company Limited, a Turkish power generation company, and Quantum Power Limited (QP), an international investment fund.

The project utilises Rwanda’s significant peat reserves and will alleviate the need for Rwanda to rely on expensive fuel imports in the future.  Whilst Rwanda is one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, three-quarters of its population remains off-grid.  The construction of the project aims to increase that significantly in a bid to boost economic growth yet further.

The Trinity team was led by Simon Norris and Barry Burland with assistance from Andrew Gray and Tamila Nakazwe. Newly promoted Counsel Harvinder Deol assisted on matters relating to the EPC and O&M. Kaushik Ray and Jo Sykes advised the mezzanine lenders.

The transaction cements Trinity’s reputation as the go-to firm for successfully closing power transactions in sub-Saharan Africa – whether for lenders or for sponsors – and builds on the success of the Trinity practice, which has acted on several of the most significant IPPs on the continent in recent years.